African lithium developer, Prospect Resources Ltd has developed a scope of work for an Optimised Feasibility Study (OFS), for a staged development of the Arcadia Lithium Project in Zimbabwe, with the first stage expected to produce 1.2 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa), ramping up to 2.4Mtpa.
Perth-based engineering consulting group, Lycopodium Ltd, has been appointed to complete the OFS. Lycopodium will supervise metallurgical testwork, optimise the staged 1.2Mtpa to 2.4Mtpa flowsheet, design the process plant, as well as related infrastructure including site power reticulation and on-site water treatment and distribution.
The engineering work during this stage will enable formal quotations to be secured from the market, in order to define the Project CAPEX to a Feasibility Study level of accuracy (+/-15 per cent).
The OFS will include:
- Substantial Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED);
- Evaluation of modular potential to reduce development and operational risk;
- Review of market pricing for Spodumene and Petalite products;
- Reducing execution schedule risk in providing greater accuracy on key equipment selection and sizing; and,
- Analysis of resultant project economics.
The OFS is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2021, with funding discussions being conducted in parallel.
Prospect is also in discussions with its existing offtake partners, as well as institutional financiers with respect to financing pathways for the staged development. It is also in early-stage discussions with multiple strategic partners regarding joint development structures.
Yesterday Prospect’s Managing Director, Sam Hosack said they are pleased with the progress that the company is making towards delivering on its plan to build and operate a Pilot Plant to rapidly move Arcadia through optimised feasibility and into development.
“Prospect is determined to deliver on a clear development pathway in as short a timeframe as possible, whilst still ensuring that the technical and economic risks are fully understood and addressed.”
Mr Hosack said the staged development plan of 1.2Mtpa to 2.4Mtpa reduces time to production by leveraging lower capital expenditure and funding requirements. It also enables clear expansion in line with market growth.
“This development strategy allows project execution and market integration risks to be minimised whilst accelerating the pathway to first cashflow. Critically, Prospect maintains the ability to go direct to a plant capacity of 2.4Mtpa should market conditions and funding activities allow. We look forward to providing regular market updates on the progress of the Optimised Feasibility Study over the coming months,” he commented.
Lycopodium Minerals Africa director, Andrew Jakins, said it is Lycopodium’s strategic intent to focus on battery mineral projects that will contribute to the success of sustainable battery powered transport solutions, “and thereby contribute to a greener environment through the reduction of greenhouse gasses”.